Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant were laid to rest in a private ceremony held on Friday, February 7, last week. The ceremony was held 12 days after the father-daughter duo lost their lives along with seven others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on January 26.
In the fatal crash that shocked the fans world over, Bryant and Gianna along with seven others were on their way to Thousand Oaks, California, to participate in a basketball match, when the chopper in which they were travelling, crashed into a hillside in Calabasas. All nine members aboard the ill-fated chopper, along with the pilot, Ara Zobayan, died on the spot.
The funeral ceremony conducted privately
Entertainment Tonight reported that NBA legend and his daughter were laid to rest in a private ceremony held at Pacific View Memorial Park in Corona Del Mar, California, on Friday, February 7. According to the website, the funeral ceremony was organised at a local funeral home with 'open courtyards, meticulous landscaping, and flowing fountains.'
Kobe Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa, and their three children, Natalia (17), Bianka (3), and Capri (7 months). A source close to the Bryant family told the outlet: "Vanessa and the family wanted a private service to mourn their loss. The ceremony was extremely hard for everyone as it's still hard for them to grasp they lost two beautiful souls."It is believed that apart from Vanessa and their kids, only close members of the family were present during the funeral.
Public memorial for Kobe Bryant and his daughter
The number 24 has always held a special place for Kobe Bryant as it was the number which the legend sported ever since his 2006-07 season. Keeping the same in mind, a public memorial is being held for Kobe and Gianna at the Staples Center, in Los Angeles, on February 24. The event termed: "A Celebration of Life: Kobe and Gianna Bryant," is scheduled to begin at 10 am. More details are awaited for the ceremony.
The venue often referred as 'Kobe's home' is the same place where the basketball legend played professional basketball all through his two-decade-long career with the Lakers. Vanessa took to Instagram to post about the public memorial. She captioned the picture of the public announcement: "#2, #24, #20 years as a Laker and the amount of years Kob and I were together ❤️❤️"
Vanessa says she needs to be strong for her daughters
Few days after the tragedy, Vanessa opened her heart for the first time in a tribute paid to her late husband and daughter, on Instagram. In her latest post calling out to all those who have lost their loved ones, Vanessa wrote: "It feels wrong Why should I be able to wake up another day when my baby girl isn't being able to have that opportunity?! I'm so mad. She had so much life to live. Then I realize I need to be strong and be here for my 3 daughters. Mad I'm not with Kobe and Gigi but thankful I'm here with Natalia, Bianka and Capri. I know what I'm feeling is normal. It's part of the grieving process."
"I just wanted to share in case there's anyone out there that's experienced a loss like this. God I wish they were here and this nightmare would be over. Praying for all of the victims of this horrible tragedy. Please continue to pray for all," she went on to add.
Few days ago, Vanessa had posted a video in which she was heard teaching their youngest daughter, Capri of how to stand up and take steps. She wrote: "My Koko Bean. She looks just like my Gigi with her daddy's eyes. auntie Ri-Ri. #7months." The video has garnered 15.7 million views.